Like Tiger King 2 captivates and terrifies viewers and some fans of Star Trek: Discovery bemoan the idea of ​​having to fork out for another subscription to a streaming service, have mercy on the once fashionable video technology now more likely to be a makeshift coaster for your coffee shop: DVDs were once l future, but now they are hard to change.

At the height of the DVD boom in 2005, Americans spent $ 16.3 billion on these things – $ 55.50 for every adult and child in the country, and more than the amount former US President Donald Trump had spent on its failing border wall. Today, eBay buyers aren’t interested in taking them out of their hands, and second-hand retailers pay next to nothing for HD versions of classic movies.

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs didn’t even exist until 2015, and they only lasted four years before their inventor, Samsung, decided to stop making hardware to play them. So what is the legacy of the DVD revolution?

The total number of physical video transactions carried out worldwide has increased from 6.1 billion in 2011 to 1.2 billion in 2021, according to market research firm Omdia. Only 300 million DVDs are expected to be sold globally this year, compared to an average of 2 billion each year between 2005 and 2009. But there are still 300 million, even if your collection is long gone or is gathering dust on it. ‘shelf. . And as the demand for DVD has dropped, video streaming has increased in its place. Subscriptions to services like Netflix have grown from 39 million worldwide in 2011 to 1.2 billion today, swallowing up almost the entire DVD industry. Almost, but not quite.

“There is a strong cohort of consumers attached to DVDs,” said Liz Bales, executive director of the British Association for Screen Entertainment, an industry body. “It just matches their request. In the UK in 2020, 7 million people still bought a TV show or movie on record. Five million Americans first purchased a movie between April and June 2021, according to David J. Holliday, president of Technicolor Home Entertainment Services, which produces more than 80% of all disc formats, from DVDs to Blu-rays. ray. at video games.

DVD purchases make up 7 percent of the global home entertainment market, Omdia says, while digital video makes up 70 percent of the industry. It’s the story of two trajectories: In the United States, the value of the digital home entertainment market increased by 33% between 2019 and 2020, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), while physical sales fell 26%. Internationally, the $ 35 billion digital video market is 10 times the size of the $ 3.5 billion physical video industry. The market is down, Holliday says, “but in recent years, especially since the start of the pandemic, the rate of decline has declined.” Surprisingly, given their changing role in the entertainment world, the lion’s share of DVD purchases are thought to be new movies, with a smaller proportion representing collectible editions and box sets.